Here’s how I see the Pegasus World Cup, currently the richest race in the sport
with a $16.3 million purse. Even a placing 6th through 12th earns connections
$650k! It’s a 9 furlong race on Gulfstream Park’s main track. This is an
invitational race, 4YO+. We’ll go horse-by-horse for this one:
SINGING BULLET is the lone horse with a good pace recovery line. Since his
autumn/spring layoff entering 2017 he posted a 98, winning a 75k allowance
race. He scored a 99 in a 62.5k allowance effort on 11/2, and 100 on 11/26. I
like the consistent runs of 89 to 100 since the layoff. My odds 14-1. ML: 30-1.
Overlay. Winning pace: average to slightly slow. Finish: 3rd.
WEST COAST could prove to be a handful. He needs a fast 1st and 2nd call to
win, and should be among the fastest entering the far turn. Winner of the PA
Derby, Travers, Los Alamitos and Easy Goer consecutively, plus a 40k
allowance. In the money all 9 races lifetime with 6 wins. Lifetime best 112 at
the Travers set a sharp new top, balanced with a 108 and 110 since. Great work
tab out of Santa Anita. My odds: 5-1. ML: 8-1. Finish: 4th.
The mare STELLAR WIND has wins in the Hirsch (twice), the Beholder and the
Apple Blossom, plus the Zenyatta and the Torrey Pines. 16 races, 10 wins.
Needs a slightly slow pace throughout. Multiple 1st-layoff wins. Bounced from
105 to 98 last time out in the Breeders Cup Distaff. My odds: None. No chance
SHARP AZTECA has 8 wins in 16, and 3 of 5 here at GP. Wins include the Cigar
Mile, the Kelso, the Monmouth Cup, the GP Handicap and the City of Laurel.
Best GP run of the field, 113. Multiple 1st-layoff wins. Small new top last time
out of 114 in the Cigar. Waiting since that race, on 12/2, to stretch an extra
furlong. Good works since then at GPW. My odds: 10-1. ML: 6-1. FInish: 5th.
Needs an average to slightly slow pace.
COLLECTED won 8 of 13 races lifetime. Interesting pattern of 111 scores every
other race (both 2 and 4 races back). Not finding anything compelling that
makes him a contender. My odds: 9-1. ML: 8-1. Can’t totally throw out but
shouldn’t be in the top 3. Needs an average to slightly fast pace to win.
GUNNEVARA won the Tangelo and the Fountain Of Youth here, and the Delta
Downs Jackpot. Multiple 1st-layoff wins. Spiked up to 109 and 107 last 2
races. Another horse whom I feel is rather outclassed here. This deep closer
needs a pace collapse. Throw out this one.
7 FEAR THE COWBOY is also a deep closer who needs a fast pace to win, just as
he did last time, here on 12/16, winning the Harlan’s Holiday. 104 score in that
one, is matched with a 105 before that, his lifetime best. Also lacks enough
evidence to win or contend here. Toss him out of this one.
8 WAR STORY comes out of 3 straight 4th-place finishes, in the BC Classic, the
Woodward and the Whitney. Won the Brooklyn on 6/10. Last time out, 109
score is small new top. Also the fastest trouble/wide trip of non-winners last
time of this field. Probably slowest by first call but will either seize the lead at
2nd call or rely on a huge pace gain by leaders to win. My odds: 9-1. ML: 25
-1. Overlay. Finish:2nd
9 TOAST OF NEW YORK won an allowance race in UK 3 years after being nosed
out of the 2014 BC Classic. 9-4-3-0 lifetime. I estimate he didn’t quite run as
fast as the Classic nor prior runs, so I’ll assume he actually bounced and could
run back to triple-digits on Saturday. Lone sprinter of the field. My odds: 10-1
ML: 20-1. Overlay. Finish: 6th.
10 GUN RUNNER’s stellar record, 11 wins in 18 is helped by his AWD numbers, and best score for the distance, 114, acheived in his 10 length Woodward win on 9/2 at the Spa. He is easily the speed of the field. Needs a slightly fast pace to win. Odds: 7-1. ML: 4/5. Finish: Not in my top 6.
11 SEEKING THE SOUL won the Clark and an optional claimer in last 2, breaching triple-digits for the first time with 2 small new tops. A number of fast works at Fair Grounds in prep. Might be the lone early closer, depending on scratches. My odds: 3-1. ML odds: 25-1 Definite overlay. Finish: 1st.
12 GIANT EXPECTATIONS has the Gary Stevens/Peter Eurton connection, no races yet at this meet. No real chance for this horse. 105 lifetime best 4 races back in the Pat O’Brien and other scores in the 90s. No chance here. chance is if the pace collapses.
My top 3: Seeking The Soul, War Story, Singing Bullet…followed by West Coast, Sharp Azteca, Toast Of New York.
Projected overlays: Singing Bullet, War Story, Toast Of New York, Seeking The Soul
I plan to wager win bets on 1,8,9,11, and exactas involving the top 2 public favorites over these (likely to be Gun Runner and Sharp Azteca). Possibly a $16 investment.